tv [untitled] March 6, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
family, and to his colleagues. all right. >> the comments of the president at today's briefing before he walked off the podium. in 1999 we caught up with done 58d payne at one of a number of events we covered during his tenure in the u.s. house of representatives. he was elected back in 1988. and at this event the congressman from new jersey talked about what it meant to be engaged civicly. >> i thought it would be interesting to have each of you answer the question when you were teenagers were you interested in politics? did you stay informed? did you read the newspapers? did you know what was going on on capitol hill? mr. payne, let's begin with you. >> well, my story is a little unique. i wasn't interested at a very young age. i was a newspaper boy at the age of about 7, and i delivered the morning paper, and so, had to walk long distance to pick it up and walk long distance back. so actually i read the paper when i was 8 or 9 years old every morning and i kept that paper route until i graduated
from high school. i delivered in the morning, kept my afternoons free. so i was a little bit more involved. as a matter of fact, i used to slip in political announcements from the congressman who i finally replace d who served frm the time i was a little boy until the time i replaced him, he serve 40d years in congress, actually, and is still doing very well today. but, i had an early interest then but it was because of because of the job and the way to kill time. and the long walk. >> congressman donald payne participating in a c-span close-up program discussing what it meant to be involved in civic activities on the local level. that program from 1999 is available on our website at c-span.org. click on video library. you're listening to "washington today wths. >> david gregory >> george stephanopoulos. >> candy crowley.
>> george schieffer. >> hear five sunday talk shows replayed starting at noon eastern. nbc's meet the press, abc's this week, fox news sunday, cnn's state of the union and cbs' face the nation. the top issues, key political figures, and the journalist roundtables. brought to you as a public service by c-span and the networks. replays of the sunday tv network talk shows sunday starting at noon eastern on c-span radio. >> at two minutes past the hour, this is wcsp-fm washington around the country on xm satellite radio channel 119. and "washington today" continues. >> now i understand there are some political contests going on tonight. but, i thought i'd start the day off by taking a few questions which i'm sure will not be political in nature. >> the comments of the president at the opening of today's news
conference. his first of 2012, and the "washington examiner" writing call it a coins coincidence but between white house business and campaign events the president has delivered major speeches or campaign remarks that coincided with every major republican presidential election this cycle or almost every event and often using the occasions to attack mitt romney. welcome to hour two of "washington today" here on c-span radio. i'm steve scully. thanks for being with us. it is super tuesday. republican primaries in ten states. the president choosing to hold his news conference this year, the first of 2012, an event that the "washington examiner" writes guarantees republicans will not have the media spotlight to themselves for this news cycle. today on wall street a down day. the dow dropping more than 200 points. about 1.5% amid renewed concerns about the situation in greece and a slowdown in the overall u.s. economy. and the president accusing his republican critics of beating the war drums. but he says that's easy for them
to do when they're not the commander in chief. at today's news conference the president saying that his critics are forgetting that the cost of war, and the impact that war has on those who fight the battles on the front line, and some republicans are pushing for tougher action against iran without realizing what the repercussions are. and today, the apec conference wrapping up here in washington, d.c., with one candidate, rick santorum, speaking in person. two others mitt romney and newt gingrich, via video conference as the candidates crisscrossed the super tuesday states trying to secure enough delegates to win today, with the ten states holding primaries and caucuses. mitt romney, as we said, hoping to continue his winning streak following the win over the weekend in washington state. and at the apec conference, which is a pro-israeli lobby here in washington, d.c., mitt romney saying that he would be more effective as containing iran's nuclear ambitions. >> i recognize, in the ayatollahs of iran, the zealot refrain of dominion. their passion for the martyr do
is matched only by their cowardice in avoiding it for themselves. nuclear ambition is pursued by iran to dominate, to subjugate, to obliterate, a nuclear iran is not only a problem for israel. it's a problem for america. and it's a problem for the world. now we may not know when iran will secure sufficient fissile material to threaten the entire world but the iaea warns that that hour is fast approaching. in the gulf, iran prepares to close the strait of hormuz to hold hostage 20% of the world's oil. in their nuclear laboratories, they prepare the means to hold hostage the entire planet. iran has long engaged in trich around the world. most recently, of course, in georgia and thailand, and in washington, d.c. they plotted to assassinate the saudi ambassador by bombing a georgetown restaurant. iran has deployed hezbollah and hamas and armed the insurgents
of iraq and afghanistan, killing our sons and daughters. they war against america. yet the current administration has promoted a policy of engagement with iran. the president even offered to sit down with ahmadinejad during his first year in office. without preconditions. he was silent as iranian dissidents took to the streets of tehran, not wanting to disrupt the potential opportunity for dialogue with iran's tyrant. the president not only dawdled in imposing sanctions, he's opposed them. hope is not a foreign policy. the only thing respected by thugs and tyrants is our resolve. backed by our power. and our readiness to use it. of course the administration's naive outreach to iran gave the ayatollahs exactly what they wanted most, it gave them time. whatever sanctions they may now belatedly impose, iran has already gained three invaluable years.
as you know there are some in the administration who argue that iran's leaders are rational. and that we can do business with them. the president speaks of common interests. let me be very clear about this, we do not have common interests with a terrorist regime. their interest is in the destruction of israel. and the domination of the middle east. it's profoundly irrational to suggest that the ayatollahs think the way we do, or share our values. they do not. i will bring the current policy of procrastination toward iran to an end. i will not delay imposing further crippling sanctions. i will not hesitate to fully implement the ones we already have. i'll make sure iran knows of the very real peril that awaits it if it becomes nuclear. i will engage iran's neighbors. i will station multiple aircraft carriers and warships at iran's door. i'll stand with the syrian people who are being mercilessly
slaughtered. i know that the fall of assad would not only be an important victory for liberty, but also a strategic blow to tehran. as president, i'll be ready to engage in diplomacy. but i will be just as ready to engage our military might. israel will know that america stands at its side in all conditions, and in all consequences. >> mitt romney speaking to the apec conference, which is a pro-israeli lobby group based here in washington, d.c. this following remarks last night among others the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, and the republican leader in the u.s. senate mitch mcconnell, on sunday, of course, the president speaking to the apec conference. all of these speeches have been posted on our website, at c-span.org. mitt romney speaking via video conference. he is in boston tonight, awaiting the returns, super tuesday, massachusetts among the states holding primaries today. rick santorum, here in washington to deliver his remarks before the gathering. >> iran continued on its mission
not just developing nuclear weapons, but killing american troops, openly providing ieds that have maimed and killed more americans than any other country in the world. planning terrorist attacks. conducting terrorist attacks. supporting radical islamist groups. all the while, the united states sat on the sidelines and did nothing. what was necessary to stop this regime from spreading terror, and doing something even worse. developing a nuclear weapon which would provide the ultimate shield for the prove ligation of terror, potentially weapons of mass destruction through terrorist organizations, as well as we've seen the overhyped and overheightened rhetoric about the destruction of the state of israel.
as i've sat and watched this play out on the world stage, i've seen the president who has been reticent. he says he has israel's back. from everything i've seen from the context of this administration he has turned his back on the people of israel. we now have an announcement today that the administration has agreed to open talks with the iranian government. that is in spite of u.n. resolutions that says they must stop the process of their nuclear fuel in order to get those negotiations. another appeasement. another delay. another opportunity for them to go forward while we talk. ladies and gentlemen, listening to the prime minister's speech
last night and then listening to the president's, there's a clear and unfortunate, tragic, disconnect between how the leaders of our -- of the country of israel and the country of the united states view the exigency of this situation. prime minister netanyahu was very clear. israel is not at peace with what's going on in iran and the process that is moving forward there. there is a concern, obvious concern, about what his administration is doing or not doing to bring this issue to a head before that final line is crossed, and it is too late. that's why i believe that we need to do more than just talk. we need to set forth a clear
ultimatum to the iranian government. we need to say to the iranian government, the time is now. you will stop your nuclear production now. you will open up your facilities for inspectors from the united states and other countries so we can certify that those efforts are stopping and being dismantled. now. >> republican presidential candidate rick santorum speaking at the apec conference here in washington, d.c. the former pennsylvania senator is back in ohio tonight awaiting the returns in this all-important super tuesday. joining us live from malbourne, ohio, located in the eastern part of the state, alicia sansvens following all of this for "the washington post." thanks for being with us. at washingtonpost.com this headline, tonight's results
could reshape the gop race. let's go through a number of scenarios. first of all, what does newt gingrich need to do? and what would be a surprise for the former house speaker tonight? >> well, steve, newt gingrich really the only thing that is on his place right now is the fate of georgia. of course his home state. it's a state where he needs to win and he needs to win big if he's going to stay in the race. right now it looks like he's on track to do that. so it could be a good night for him there. the question is, of course, it all comes down to delegates and while georgia is the biggest state on the roster tonight, even if gingrich does well there, he's still going to have to make up a lot in terms of the other states that are going. many of those are states where mitt romney is favored. and even in the state of virginia, both newt gingrich and rick santorum aren't even on the ballot there. so it's -- he will have a victory tonight in georgia but there are still lingering all of the bigger questions of how viable is this campaign in the long run. >> congressman ron paul, who has been campaigning in alaska and
idaho, delegates in those sta s states, but not a lot of delegates. so what does he want to get from tonight? >> well, i think yeah he could finally win his first primary or caucus state, i think the latter is much more likely. this would obviously be a huge night for him. we've seen in the past couple of caucus states he has done well, especially in the delegate count. but he has yet to actually win one when it comes to the popular vote. if he could do that tonight it would be a big win for him, and those caucus states are a little bit unpredictable. he had a bit of a litdown over the weekend in washington state which mitt romney done. for ron paul, if he would win one state tonight that would be big for him. we just have to sort of hang on and see if that's actually realistic for him tonight, though. >> so let's talk about the state that most people will be watching especially close, ohio, where you're at. this is a state that rick santorum is hoping to get an opening in this race. what is he looking for tonight? >> he's looking -- well his margin is real big in parts of
the state that are his home base. i'm in the eastern part of the state in melbourne, this is about an hour or so away from where rick santorum is holding his victory party tonight, in the city of steubenville, which is just outside of pittsburgh. this is definitely rick santorum country. many voters i talked to here are voting for him. the question is, are some of -- those voters are looking at who's going to be the most viable in the fall. and some of the voters i talked to said that while their heart is with santorum, they've decided that romney is the one who really has the best chance of winning against president obama. so, that's the question that rick santorum is facing tonight. will his voters actually believe that he is the most electable candidate. will they turn out for him? and if he is able to eke out a win here tonight, it's pretty unlikely he'd actually win the most delegates, but he could still have the big symbolic victory in terms of the popular vote. >> we're talking with felicia sonmez off "the washington post." you're been on the campaign trail, also observing it from
here in washington. as you track the polling numbers in ohio, what happened? because rick santorum had a fairly commanding lead going in to ohio. things began to turn thursday and friday, with polls, some polls showing that mitt romney is ahead slightly, one or two percentage points. a quinnipiac survey showing dead heat, 32% for romney, 32% for rick santorum. so what happened? >> i think one of the most surprising things when you look inside those polls is the reason that the race seems to be tightening up is because rick santorum supports among middle-class voters has been on the decline. there was about a 16-point drop from the middle of february in his support on middle class voters from the middle of february until the beginning of march. that's huge, especially when he is hitching his entire campaign on that voting bloc. so, the big question is sort of why has that happened? could it have been maybe it backfired. maybe mitt romney is making his case to the voters more
convincing. it's really hard to say. both of them have been campaigning pretty hard here in ohio, though. so it's -- it's really a tough neck and neck race here and the dynamics have definitely as you mentioned been changing pretty drastically over the past couple of days. >> more than 400 delegates at stake on this super tuesday. let me share with you some news from the networks. these are some of the early exit poll results that came out just a short while ago. the networks not indicating where mitt romney or rick santorum are but the exit poll information does indicate that the economy is the number one issue in every state voting today. voters also saying that they are seeking a republican nominee with the ability to defeat the president in november. what do those two things tell you about mitt romney and rick santorum? >> i think from the start of this race, those were the two factors that mitt romney had going for him and it's one of the reasons why he's done so well in state after state. and if that's the trend tonight, it would certainly seem to play
to his favor. that said though, i mean, there have been a lot of things about his record that have come out, especially in the debates, that has been less than satisfactory for him. some of his comments about a couple of cadillacs we saw in michigan and some of the other campaign stumbles when it comes to issue of wealth have sort of tripped him up. so it will be worth watching whether those have played -- had an impact on voters as they're deciding tonight. but at least from what i've seen here on the trail as well the economy is definitely the top issue in voters' minds and that would seem to help mitt romney. >> mitt romney, his wife anne arriving in bedford, massachusetts about 4:00 this afternoon saying oh, boy, we're heading home. it's nice to be home in massachusetts. so let me conclude with these two story lines. rick santorum edges out a narrow victory in ohio. what's your story tonight and tomorrow? >> if he -- i would say it's going to be a long nominating
contest. and that's something that we probably have already known ever since i'd say the end of last month when newt gingrich won south carolina. from that point on i think we knew that this was not going to be a simple case of mitt romney clinching the nomination in the first month of the contest. so, if rick santorum does well here it means that mitt romney's got more serious liabilities than it looked like he had and it's going to be a rough race between the both of them. i think we can expect a lot more fighting, a lot more negative attacks, and hopefully a little bit more clarity when it comes to where the republican party actually wants to be headed from here until november. >> and conversely if mitt romney wins ohio, what is your story tonight? >> if romney wins i think it's definitely will help him when he is making his case to voters in the upcoming contests in the south, alabama, mississippi, you've got a whole bunch of places where he's not particularly favored, but this
might cause those voters down there to give him a second look. already we're seeing the super pacs spending upwards of a million dollars in alabama. and $500,000 in mississippi. so we know that these are places where he's focused on. he's definitely counting on a long haul fight. if he does win today, i think that we'll see him probably try to make an even bigger push to win those voters down there. but, i think it's, you know, there's still goingto be a lot [ inaudible ] even past tomorrow morning that we may not be sure what to expect. >> voters from vermont to virginia, tennessee to idaho, alaska, and of course ohio and georgia. felicia sonmez on the campaign trail in ohio tonight. her work available on line at washingtonpost.com. thanks very much for being with us. >> thanks so much. the former house speaker newt gingrich also speaking at the apec conference. he did so via video conference. he's spending part of today campaigning in tennessee, tonight he will be in georgia,
where he does expect to win the georgia primary. polls showing that he has a double digit lead in that state. here's more from newt gingrich. >> i am committed to reforming the state department, i am committed to reforming the united nations. i will follow an american foreign policy seeking american strength to ensure that we can stand with our friends around the world. and in a gingrich administration we would not keep talking while the iranians keep building. we would indicate clearly that their failure to stop their program is, in fact, crossing a red line. the red line is not the morning a bomb goes off. the red line is not the morning our intelligence community tells us they failed once again. the red line is now because the iranians now are deepening their fortifications. deepening their underground laboratories, deepening their commitment to nuclear weapons while we talk. it is an unacceptable risk and
we should not participate in it but we should move from strength. finally we should rebuild and modernize our military, not cripple it and diminish it. that would be a fundamental difference between obama administration and a gingrich administration i look forward to working with you. i have had a long record working for the survival of israel and the survival of the united states. as president i will continue that pattern and i look forward very much to seeing each of you individually during the upcoming campaign. thank you very, very much. >> mr. speaker we do have time for a question or two and i'd like to start by posing this one. can you elaborate on the ways in which beyond the threat to israel you see a nuclear capable iran threatening the broad range of u.s. security interests around the world?
>> let me say first of all i think a nuclear armed pakistan and a nuclear armed iran are both threats, because either one could have factions which leak nuclear weapons to terrorists. terrorists don't have an obligation to use missiles or airplanes. they can have a bomb in a cargo ship. they can have a bomb in a truck that crosses the border. there are a variety of ways to deliver bombs. we have to be planning on the fear, and the legitimate fear that we could have not 3100 dead, as in 9/11. but 300,000 dead. i think this is a very big danger. we warned about it in the hart rudman commission which reported in march of 2011 -- i mean 2001, before the attack of 9/11. and after three years of study said the greatest threat to the united states is a weapon of mass destruction going off in an american city probably from a terrorist. so i regard both pakistani and iranian weapons as dangerous. the iranians are more dangerous,
because their leadership has openly publicly said it wants to eliminate israel from the face of the earth. the current leader, ahmadinejad is a holocaust denier, and the iranians are the largest funders of state sponsored terrorism on the planet. so they're a much greater danger. but the minute you have a nuclear armed iran, they're going to intimidate all of the countries in the persian gulf, and as long as we follow the current policy of crippling our energy programs, the persian gulf is the fulcrum on which the world economy operates. threat to have a nuclear armed iran sitting there with the capacity to bully its neighbors, and to frankly threaten enormous casualties for the u.s. if we engage them. i think it is an enormous risk for the region. it's a substantial risk to the united states. and ultimately it is something that simply can't be tolerated. >> from today's apec conference, comments of former house speaker and presidential candidate newt gingrich. we'll have more from today's
news conference with the president and this question from cbs white house correspondent norah o'donnell. >> today is super tuesday so i wonder if you might weigh in on some of your republican presidential opponents. mitt romney has criticized you on iran and said hope is not a foreign policy. he also said that you are america's most feckless president since carter. what would you like to say to mr. romney? >> good luck tonight. >> no, really. >> really. >> one of the one or two lighthearted moments at today's news conference, which, by the way, iyo45minute exchange between the president and members of the white house press corps, it is on our website, it will air on the network later tonight. of course, we're also focusing on the results from super tuesday with primaries and caucuses in ten states.
more than 400 delegates. and we'll be streaming the results on our website at c-span.org and carry it live here on c-span radio. it's 25 minutes past the hour. and at about 4:00 this afternoon mitt romney landing in bedford, massachusetts. he is going to be speaking to supporters in boston later tonight. and here's a portion of what the republican presidential candidate had to say. >> we want to get young people from across the country to make sure that they understand that this election is about their future. right now, we're seeing a government spending massively more money than we take in. and that money is going to get paid back by our young people. they're going to pay the interest. they're going to pay the principle for years. this is a campaign to make sure that we save the future for our young people and hopefully, as they focus on this election and as it comes closer to the general election, they'll recognize what's at stake. >> -- your republican rivals and president obama are getting more
than their campaign contributions from small dollar donors. curious as to what you think that means and if it's something to worry about? >> we've worked very hard to organize a full campaign, including fund-raising at capacity throughout the country. this was not a last-minute effort on our part, as you know. we organized a number of fund-raising organizations, and individuals. and we've built the kind of organization you have to have to go up against president obama, who will have a billion dollars. he'll far outspend our republican nominee. but we're in a very good position to raise the money we need to stand up to his message. >> -- some of the comments you've made have been seized upon by the news media to highlight negatives that your opponents are pushing and just yesterday something your wife ann said, if taken out of context, was made to come off as a gaffe. you think you're getting a fair shake from the media? >> oh, i think there will always be in the world of media people who try and clip sentences to try and say something that you didn't mean to say.
and, i'm not worried about that. that's the process. the american people ultimately get to see the full context. usually people who try and distort what you say end up being hurt by their own distortion. >> president obama said that he wished you luck today on super tuesday. do you have any parting words back for him? >> do you think that was an endorsement? i hope so. but i don't think so. i appreciate the good wishes. and wish him best. >> -- on the senate floor today -- >> [ inaudible ] question would you support air strikes like john mccain has suggested? and if not or that or district involvement of the u.s., how is your position on syria different from president obama? >> my view is that we should state very clearly our opposition to mr. assad, the president took a long time to reach that conclusion. i also believe that it's essential for us to work with turkey, as well as with saudi arabia, who are of like mind with us in certain respects with regard to syria to encourage the arming 6 of the syrian rebels.
i also believe it's important for us to recognize that the aloeites should receive communication from us and from others, that there is a future. in syria for them, after assad. in terms of military action, i've not taken a step at this point to encourage military action on our part. that's an option for us, but have not reached that point at this stage. i'll continue to be briefed week to week as to the developments in that country. and that could change at some point in the future. but at the current stage i'm not favoring a military involvement, direct military involvement by the united states. >> thank you very much. >> polls show your favorability dropping. does that concern you going forward and what do you think of it? >> just the nature of the campaign. obviously you're going to have attacks that come from various people in a campaign process, and some of those attacks, until they're understood and answered,